This is our herpes telling story from my partnerís perspective.
How did you meet your partner?
We met in a crowded bar in Omaha, Nebraska. I was out with a
few friends celebrating my 24th birthday and friends' 21st birthday.
I had noticed her smiling at me from across the dance floor off and
on throughout the night and I smiled back at her. This went on for a
while until I finally worked up the courage to ask her to dance. We
danced until the bar closed and the rest, as they say, is history.
How long have you been going out? We will be dating for 1 year on September 1st,
but it feels as if we have known each other for much longer.
What attracted you to her? Well, I would be a liar if I didn't say she was
gorgeous, but the first thing that attracted me to her was her smile. I
would have never even attempted to ask her out let alone ask her to dance if
I hadn't caught her smiling at me.
When did she tell you?
We had been dating for about 3 months before she told me.
How did your partner
tell you she had herpes? We had just finished watching a movie when all of
a sudden she got really quiet. I was leaving town the next morning to go back to
work (I travel 3 weeks out of the month for my job). I could tell something was
bothering her but she wouldn't come out with it. After 15 minutes of coaxing she
finally started telling me about it. The frustrating thing was she didn't come
out and explain it being "Herpes"
until the very end. She started talking about her being infected with a virus
that hasn't been cured, is sexually transmitted and that she didn't want me to
get it. She was crying off and on through her explanation saying that she was
sure I wouldn't want to be her boyfriend anymore and that there was no way I
would love her after knowing this. She still hadn't told me the virus was Herpes
and I was scared that she was infected with HIV. I was relieved when she finally
said she had Herpes.
during or after intimacy?
We had not been intimate yet and we waited another 3 months before
having intercourse, after we each were tested for all the other
STDs as well as HIV. We decided together that this was the
intelligent and safe thing to do before jumping in the sack
What was your first reaction? After she had explained everything to me she gave
me a few printouts about Herpes as well as an issue of the Helper to read
through. I was a little scared at first but after finding out that it was
Herpes and not HIV I was much more comfortable.
What were your
My major concerns were that we could have a normal life together,
marriage, children etc. I was not very concerned with the chance of
infection, I had decided that my love for her outweighed the side
you have any regrets about your first reaction?
My only regret is that I had to leave town the very next morning and we
didn't get a chance to talk sooner after she had told me. I realize that it
had to be a very tough thing for her and I wish I had been there with her
after we had talked about it to reassure her more.
Did education about herpes help you calm any fears you may have had?
Yes, After reading through much of the documentation on the Internet and various
other sources I have been able to educate myself further.
What was the greatest resource or support that
you had? Her, and the
various resources she has accumulated after being infected.
What would you recommend to someone who has just been told that his or
her partner has Herpes? Education, Education, Education.
concerned are you about transmission?
Not very, I decided before we became intimate that she was worth the risk. I
am deeply in love with her and I am not gonna let some microscopic bug get
in-between the two of us.
What steps do you take to prevent transmission?
She is on suppressive therapy (Valtrex) and we use a condom every time we have
sex, although the condoms are more to prevent unplanned pregnancy than to
prevent transmission of the virus.
Do you still tackle with the issue, or do you
feel OK with it?
I have no qualms whatsoever with it, I think she has the bigger problem with
it than I do sometimes. She is very active on the Internet both message boards
and newsgroups and there are a large number of infected people out there that
believe that people with Herpes should not date those that aren't infected. Some
of them are downright mean about the whole issue and it is very upsetting to her
and me at times. This was a bigger issue when we first started dating but has
not been much of a problem during the last few months. Overall I think the whole
Herpes issue has been a benefit to our relationship, through her being infected
we have been able to communicate about many subjects that most relationships
don't even talk about. We were both tested for all STDs before having
intercourse and we can talk about anything, there is no lack of communication